Now that businesses are opening up again, there is a huge need to educate employees on new procedures and reassure clients, colleagues and customers. Many companies are creating films that explain and demonstrate exactly what measures they’re taking. However, the guidelines for workplace safety are constantly developing and updating, so it’s important to hone:
- the immediate need for health and safety video
- and forecast and budget for speedy adaptations to your content for when guidelines change (affecting your workplace processes).
For the past month, we’ve been working with multiple clients to create succinct, engaging and informative COVID-19 safety videos. Read on for our tips and tricks to ensure that your videos are future proof.
5 key areas to consider for honing your COVID safety content and making it future-proof.
1. Define your audience(s)
Are you welcoming your workforce back to the office/shop floor/site/other with new procedures in place? Or do you need to show customers how to navigate your adapted environment? Do you have different teams and departments that will need to follow different procedures? At this stage, it’s important to segment your audiences and define what you want to convey to them.
The messages you want to send to each audience may be multilayered. For example, you may want to educate customers on new rules they need to follow, while also installing confidence and trust that your staff have also taken precautions to make the customers’ experience as safe as possible.
For some inspiration, watch this video by BA, aimed at customers. It’s a great example of clearly showing the new safety procedures the company has taken while explaining what customers need to do to keep safe, all the while, installing the viewer with excitement and confidence in flying again.
Meanwhile, the retailer Next has a good example of a video for its employees on new warehouse working regulations and prioritising safety above everything else.
2. Decide on your video medium
Do you want a live shoot displaying the real place and systems that your audience will be navigating differently? Or are you unable to get even a small crew to film on location? Would animation be an effective way of conveying your message? Or could you use a combination of filming and overlay animation and infographics to illustrate COVID safety rules? Each medium has its benefits, so read on for little more information on each.
Animation as a format has a track record for clearly and concisely conveying informative messages and instructions (while flaunting engaging aesthetics and branding)! It’s great for depicting concepts, places or scenarios which are difficult or impossible to film. Plus, it offers flexibility in terms of tweaks and adaptations which is useful when considering changing guidelines and if you expect to need tweaked versions in the future. But we’ll get into this a little more later.
Something to consider is the use of animation overlaid on filmed content, as infographics and animations can be used to show pathways, systems, graphic information and more. The combination of mediums often makes for an aesthetic, clear and useful instructional video but also offers the option for easily changing the graphic elements in your video. It’s an excellent way of futureproofing your content, as the infographics and animations can be replaced or updated with new information as rules change.
To get to grips with the different types of animation and what they have to offer, check out our animation blog here.
Filmed content is a great way to show real-life implementations and scenarios. The realism of the video can offer your audience clarity, comfort and confidence when understanding the new rules into practice. Many companies have utilised employees to illustrate new safety measures, explain new rules, changes, and procedures. This filmed content can be used alongside informative b-roll to bring these key talking points to life and demonstrate processes.
Thorough and clever planning will mean that you can get much more than solely a COVID health and safety video from your shoot, which leads onto the next point…
3. Clever planning – get the most from your video!
Organise a comprehensive shot list and think about doubling up on shots where there might be changes, for example the social distance guidelines. Consider what uses this footage might have other than for a COVID video? Do you need branding or promotional content? If so, work with your production agency to produce a shot list that covers your other needs, so the crew can capture content for multiple uses on the day and get the most out of your shoot.
Careful scripting is integral, too. Write a full script before filming and consider writing alternative lines that explain rules that you expect to change. The voiceover artist can read them in one session and ensure you have the lines banked for future video revisions.
If you’re going with animation, then it could be a good idea to work with your agency to define intro and outro information that could change as well as other key areas that you expect could change. By having an understanding of this, the animators can ensure that various elements can be made so that possible future adjustments are easily done. Then, if you do need to make revisions, your current version should have been created so that possible changes can be made in an efficient and cost-effective way.
Consumable informative video content usually runs for no more than 2.5 – 3 minutes. Longer content usually means that audiences will only partially view the video, or not view at all. So it’s a good idea to make sure your script(s) adhere to a short and sweet time frame. Fear not, conveying a fair amount of clear and engaging information is perfectly doable within these time limits. But it’s important to consider this while conceptualizing the video(s) you need and think about whether you need to break content for different areas, teams, locations etc. into separate videos.
4. Socially-distanced filming
Socially-distanced filming is easily done with a small 2-person crew (1 x camera & sound operator and 1 x producer). By adhering to all government guidelines, including wearing appropriate PPE, washing and sanitising hands and equipment regularly, and undertaking temperature checks prior to every shoot are all steps that should be taken to ensure the safety of the shoot. A crew can use an adapted kit for social distancing, for example, using an extendable boom mic/stand and tape to formalise distancing guidelines.
It’s a good idea to plan filming to happen either out-of-hours (make the most of prolonged daylight!) or before your workforce is back at capacity to ensure social distancing is maintained and that the crew are able to get the best shots and access to your location.
To read more about our general video production services, click here.
Finally, it’s essential to get the right tone in your video. While it needs to be informative and clear, a sense of reassurance and enthusiasm at this time is integral. End your video by making your viewers, be they employees or customers, feel safe and excited about the reopening of your business!
You can ensure this by working with your production agency to make sure the language effectively conveys this. If you’re using talent or an employee to demonstrate rules and processes, the producer will work to guide and direct them and elicit a firm but positive delivery. And of course, the stylistic editing, transitions, and even music can all be combined to ensure the right tone here, too.
And if you’d like to see examples of our award-winning animation video content, visit this page.
To learn more about the different types of animation and the possibilities they offer, see our blog here.